The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s massive car bombing targeting Egyptian security forces in the country’s capital, Cairo. The group called the attack revenge for the deaths of some of its fighters earlier this year.
According to the Interior Ministry, six enforcement officers were injured in the early morning assault on a division of the National Security Agency, the nation’s local spy service, in the Cairo neighborhood of Shubra al-Kheima.
The massive blast, which was heard across Cairo’s districts, has revived fears of stepped up terror attacks in the Egyptian city.
Islamists and other extremists have waged an increasingly bloody campaign against Egyptian defense forces since a military takeover ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Among the sections is a group, based in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which has pledged allegiance to the radical Islamic State.
In a message posted on the internet, the Islamic State stated its “soldiers of the caliphate were able to strike the state security building in the area of Shubra al-Kheima with a car full of explosives.”
A bomb-rigged car was parked near the security offices, approximately six miles from the centrally located Tahrir Square. The driver ran away on a motorbike before the blast, the Interior Ministry said in an official statement.
Egyptian rebels have regularly targeted security establishments. According to the Islamic State, Thursday’s assault was in retribution for “Arab Sharkas,” a reference to the location of a fatal shootout between security forces and the insurgents, in a village near Shubra al-Kheima in 2014.
The gun battle that lasted hours was triggered by an attack on a timber workshop said to be linked to insurgents who later forged connections with the Islamic State. senior army officers and militants were among those that lost their lives.
In May, Egypt authorized the execution of six men it believed were associated to the cell in Arab Sharkas. The Human Rights Watch has reported that three of those executed were already in police custody when the shootout took place.
Early Thursday, the privately controlled Egyptian TV channel CBC aired images showing extensive destruction to houses in the Shubra district.
In January 2014, terrorists now dedicated to the Islamic State executed a car bombing raid outside a security directorate in Cairo, causing serious destruction.
In June, a huge car bomb blew up and killed Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s chief prosecutor, right at the center of Cairo. A new faction calling itself the “Tahrir Brigades” claimed liability for that act earlier this month.